“A soulmate is not someone who shares your interests and is attractive to you. A soulmate is someone who is willing to grow with you, who chooses to be with you until the end, & will love you through good and bad. It’s not about sunshine and laughter, it’s about mundane moments filled with unknowns. Love is so much more than a spark you have, or passions shared, it’s working for something deeper & lasting. I think that at the end of all things, we’ll see what really matters, & I think the things we produced with love & grace will be what we have to show. So love with purpose, love beyond yourself, & love knowing that what you are growing is beautiful & good.”

— T.B. LaBerge

71

i arrived at my grandparents home, and my grandma was all dressed up in her Sunday best and my grandpa was wearing the raddest green pants and a hipster palm tree shirt. so grandma made him change into something a little fancier. he came out and grandma told him how handsome he looked! as i was taking detail photos of the house, i got a little emotional. just knowing the weight of these images and knowing how important they will be in my heart and in the hearts of their children got me all glassy eyed. oh man, photography – am i right?

i went about the session how i normally do, asking them questions and guiding them to look back on their relationship. i asked grandpa to tell grandma one thing that he loved about her. grandma looked deep into his eyes, excited and anxious about what he was going to say. he thought for a while and said, “oh, her smile. that smile is something that i cherish.” me, (crying at this point) asked grandma to tell him something she loved about him. she gripped his hand tightly and said, “the way that he always supports me in all that i do. always caring and protecting me.” by this time, i was wiping away tears, WHAT LOVE. 58 years of marriage. next, i asked them, “what was one way you know the other person loves you?” grandpa proudly said, “she always makes a meal for me. wether she is tired, or sick, there will always be food for me.” to that, grandma responded, “he will always do the dishes for me, its the little things.”

i told grandpa to kiss her on the forehead – he did, but they both started laughing. “what’s so funny?” i questioned. “well,” grandma said, “that’s just usually not how we do it.” haha oh man, these two. so funny! so they bursted out in full fledge laughter and held each other even closer. oh, how i adore love. i took some photos of them individually and while grandma was getting her’s taken, grandpa could not stop saying how beautiful she was. and when it was grandpa’s turn, grandma said, “he is just so handsome, he is the love of my life.” like come on, how am i suppose to stay tear-less when your grandparents are the cutest humans?!

it was nearing the end of the session and i just got them to hug each other and as they did, i started to cry. i told them to simply think about the life that they have created. the life that they have spent together, the love and the laughter that has filled their home for generations and they started to cry… (at least i know where i get it from) i told them they were done, so grandma said, “i think that deserves a kiss.” and just kissed him. not deeply, not overbearingly, but simply. like it was a daily thing-like a routine or a habit. & how beautiful it is to have a habit like that after 58 years of marriage…

grandma has always loved photos as much as i do, so i gave her a Polaroid of the two of them and of course, she put it on her fridge. we finished the night with some really amazing pie. sidenote: how amazing is it that my grandma – no matter what, always has a freshly baked something ready just in case someone comes over. i aspire to be that hospitable one day. we had pie and good conversation about photography and why i do it. they absolutely LOVED the session. they both said it was so much fun and that they created memories and that’s what really mattered to them. grandpa always kinda teases me, (in a good way) about how i actually get paid for taking pictures – but after this sessions, he went to his room and came back with a $20 bill and said, “i know that this isn’t much and that this time was so much more than this, but i want you to have it because it is valued and important to us.” BAWLING – straight up, not even try to pretty cry. i hugged them both and left with a smile on my face, and tears in my eyes. what love. what an example. i am blessed.

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